In the state of New York, car insurance is a prerequisite for vehicle registration, meaning that every vehicle that is registered with the state must have car insurance at the time of registration. Vehicles without car insurance that meets state requirements cannot be registered with the state and subsequently cannot be driven legally. As a no-fault state New York requires residents to maintain no-fault rather than liability insurance on their vehicles. In most instances, no-fault insurance is known as personal injury protection and is designed to pay for any injuries caused to the driver and/or passengers of an insured vehicle in an accident regardless of which driver is at fault. In at-fault states the driver that is found to be at-fault in an accident is financially responsible for all injuries and damages resulting from an accident but in New York drivers are responsible for their own injuries. State law requires that every vehicle maintain at least $50,000 in no-fault insurance in order to be legally operable on state roads. In addition to personal injury protection the state of New York also requires residents to maintain certain other types of coverage on their vehicle as well, including liability coverage. New York car insurance law requires that every vehicle be insured with a minimum of $25,000 in per person bodily injury coverage, $50,000 in per accident bodily injury coverage as well as $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. Unlike personal injury protection, which financially protects the policy holder and any passengers in the policy insured vehicle liability insurance is meant to protect other drivers on the road in case they are involved in an accident with the policy holder. Although New York is technically a no-fault state, liability insurance is still required in order to insure that a driver involved in an accident does not incur an unnecessary financial burden if they are involved in an accident that is not their fault. Unlike most other states with liability insurance requirements New York also requires residents to purchase a minimum of $100,000 in per accident liability coverage that will cover the death of one or more individuals.  New York car insurance policy holders are also required by state law to include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on their policy in order to satisfy state minimum coverage requirements.  The minimum amount of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage required by the state of New York mirrors the amounts of liability coverage required by the state. The fact that it requires liability, no-fault and uninsured motorist coverage makes New York one of the most comprehensive car insurance states in the entire country.

For most New York residents there is always the option of purchasing more coverage than the minimum amounts required by law and in fact many New York drivers choose to do just that in order to increase their financial protection should they be involved in an accident. Vehicle owners in the state of New York also have the option of voluntarily purchasing a variety of other different types of coverage not required by state law. Although optional coverage is not generally seen as essential by the state government it is still recommended to help fill in the gaps left behind by other types of coverage. New York car insurance companies for example generally offer their policy holders the chance to purchase up to $25,000 in basic economic loss coverage. This type of coverage is specifically designed to reimburse the policy holder for any lost wages they incur as a result of an injury received from a car accident. New York drivers also have the option to supplement their uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage with $200,000 in additional coverage, adding up to $250,000 total in uninsured and underinsured coverage. Like every other state New York auto insurance companies also offer collision and comprehensive car insurance coverage which, although optional, is often required by lenders in the state that supply car loans.

According to New York State law, every driver in the state of New York is required to carry proof of insurance with them at all times while on the road. If a driver is pulled over or involved in an accident in New York they may be required to provide proof of insurance to a law enforcement officer. New York also uses and electronic database to help monitor the insurance status of residents and vehicles on a continuous basis. If a New York car insurance policy holder allows their policy to lapse the car insurance company is required to immediately notify the state of a chance in insurance status. A driver that is found to be without car insurance in New York will face a series of penalties, including fines and the possible suspension of the uninsured vehicle’s registration until proof of insurance can be provided to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.